Former Orlando Pirates captain Lucky Lekgwathi has called on public donations to the value of R400 000 to rebuild his 'Grootman' restaurant which was destroyed by looters.
Following his retirement from playing football in 2016, Lekgwathi started his own businesses including a clothing label called 'Fantastic14' and Kliptown-based restaurant known as 'Grootman', which opened as recently as April 2021.
Sadly, the restaurant was among the businesses looted and vandalised amid the unrest in Soweto last week, and Lekgwathi had not acquired insurance as yet.
The 44-year-old former Bafana Bafana defender has appealed for public donations so he can restore his restaurant, which was on the rise among locals and Pirates supporters from all corners.
"We welcome anything from R1 upwards. Anything you have will make a huge difference." Lekgwathi tells KickOff.com.
"I still believe 'Grootman' is not my shop alone, it's everyone's because you can franchise and call it 'Grootman by so-and-so'.
"People are so generous, there are those who have already made their contributions like a thousand rand, R1 500, R2 000, R3 000, you see.
"The shop cost us R400 000, so I'm looking at any money that can help me with a restart. I spoke to my business partner, we forgive them [looters] , so we're going to go to the same place [to rebuild the business], and for us it's like a learning curve.
See the horrible state in which looters left Lekgwathi's restaurant
"Yes, you can talk to people about soccer but also it's important to engage them on life-related issues, teaching them why such things are not acceptable.
"Like myself, for example, how many years was I playing football, leaving home for Petersburg, not knowing anyone there, so we will go back there [Kliptown] and continue where we left off, and give back to the community.
"We have eight employees and most of them are from Kliptown, so it was part of job creation and again, giving back to the community.
"As you know, I have my own Foundation, and we donate food parcels, do blankets drives for pensioners. But unfortunately, because of what happened, we are unable to do that. Maybe we will wait until we rebuild our shop.
"As for my employees, we took them to my friend's restaurants so they can carry on providing for their families for the time-being, so that when we bounce back we can take them back, cause we want the same people from the same community you see."
Patrons are requested to deposit any donations into the Lucky Lekgwathi Foundation account: Standard Bank Account, Southdale; Acc no: 00780014; Branch code: 640530.